Duke basketball draft prospect vows to return ‘better than ever’

Duke basketball wing Dariq Whitehead (Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images)
Duke basketball wing Dariq Whitehead (Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images) /

Duke basketball wing Dariq Whitehead vowed to return ‘better than ever’

It has been a difficult year for Duke basketball forward Dariq Whitehead, but things could be turning towards the positive very quickly.

Whitehead initially suffered a broken right foot in August, which required surgery, as soon as he arrived on campus for the Blue Devils, but only missed the first three games of the season as he really started to round into peak form as the calendar was flipping to January.

The Newark, New Jersey native was a headliner in Duke’s top ranked recruiting class, listed as the No. 2 player in the Class of 2022, yet another injury scare sidelined him on January 23.

However, the diagnosis was positive for Whitehead as he only suffered a lower leg strain despite many thinking he might have ruptured his achilles tendon on the court.

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The injury would keep the 6-foot-7 wing out for four games.

Dariq Whitehead returned for the remainder of the season for the Blue Devils but shortly after he announced his intentions to declare for the 2023 NBA Draft, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that his original surgically repaired broken foot did not heal properly and required another surgery.

Wojnarowski said that the expectation was that Whitehead would be ready for training camp in the fall and that was reaffirmed by the senior NBA insider last week.

Duke basketball wing ready to make impact at next level

Dr. Martin O’Malley, Dariq Whitehead’s surgeon, told Wojnarowski that “[Whitehead] will begin his rehab process in two weeks and should be ready for full participation at the start of NBA training camp.”

The Duke standout also took to twitter saying, “Gonna come back better than ever.”

Whitehead averaged 8.3 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 1.0 assists per game in his lone season at Duke while shooting 42.1-percent from the field and 42.9-percent from 3-point range.

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ESPN currently projects Dariq Whitehead to be selected No. 30 overall by the Los Angeles Clippers in its most recent mock draft.

The 2023 NBA Draft will take place on Thursday, June 22 (8:00p.m. ET, ESPN) from the Barclays Center.

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